Arians on Pats 'D': 'Throw the statistics out'

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Arians on Pats 'D': 'Throw the statistics out'

FOXBORO -- Bruce Arians says there's one simple number that wipes out the woeful defensive totals amassed by the Patriots over the first nine games: 23.
 
That's the number of turnovers the Patriots have forced so far this season. And the Colts' interim head coach said Wednesday that, when it comes to evaluating the Patriots defense, one should, "Throw the statistics out because they've got 23 turnovers and when you lead the league in turnover-ratio (with) 16, you're gonna be in first place."

The Patriots have 10 picks and 13 fumble recoveries this season. They've thrown three picks and fumbled four times for a league-low turnover total of seven.

By contrast, the 6-3 Colts have forced just six turnovers all year and are at minus-9 in turnover differential. And that was before forcing three turnovers last week against the Jaguars.

Arians, the interim head coach in Indy while head coach Chuck Pagano continues recovering from leukemia treatments, has years of familiarity with the New England defense since his time as offensive coordinator of the Steelers.

"They've always been a bend-don't-break group and feasted on turnovers ever since I can remember," said Arians. "There were only a few years where they were totally dominant, but they've always been as well-coached as anyone in this league."

The Patriots are allowing 285.3 passing yards per game and 22.3 points. The second number should be higher given the yards they allow. But the turnovers intervene, says Arians.

"Interceptions, fumbles, kick returns, fake kicks, they've got it all and Coach Belichick does as good a job as anyone putting his guys in position offensively and defensively as anyone whoever's coached the game," he said.

Arians said its hard to project what impact Aqib Talib will have on the Patriots secondary. He noted the Steelers faced Talib when the corner was in Tampa and added, "I know how talented he is and he's got a good passion for the game and he'll be a great addition I think."

But Arians isn't showing Buccaneers film to his offense in hopes of preparing for Talib. 

"There's nothing that I could go show them that I know he's gonna do in this defense," Arians explained.

Pedroia doesn't have MRI, still listed as day-to-day with ankle/knee soreness

Pedroia doesn't have MRI, still listed as day-to-day with ankle/knee soreness

Three weeks into the season, health has dominated the conversation with the Red Sox. And it’s much more than just the flu.

A scheduled off-day Monday brought something resembling an update for three players worth roughly $63 million in salary.

Dustin Pedroia, Orioles peacemaker, was examined at Massachusetts General Hospital and remains day-to-day because of left ankle and left knee soreness. He did not undergo an MRI, with his condition apparently good enough that the team felt it was unnecessary -- even though the message delivered on Sunday by manager John Farrell was that the Sox wanted to rule everything out.

Pedroia hasn’t played since he was spiked by Manny Machado on Friday in Baltimore.

Pablo Sandoval, at some point Monday, was slated to have an MRI after spraining his right knee Sunday. A further evaluation is to come Tuesday, so his status remains unclear.

David Price, meanwhile, threw a 45-pitch bullpen at Fenway Park on his long journey back from a left elbow strain. There were simulated inning breaks and, naturally, what’s next is still to be seen. Facing hitters shouldn’t be too far away, Farrell has suggested.

Bills decline to match Patriots offer to RB Mike Gillislee

Bills decline to match Patriots offer to RB Mike Gillislee

The Patriots have themselves another "big back" option for 2017. 

The Bills announced that they have opted not to match the restricted free agent offer sheet that New England made to Mike Gillislee last week. That means the 5-foot-11, 219-pounder is now a member of the Patriots. Buffalo had until 4 p.m. on Monday to match.

Gillislee was reportedly extended an offer sheet by the Patriots that is worth $6.4 million and $4 million in the first year. The Bills had the cap space to match the offer, but with LeSean McCoy already atop their depth chart, the price tag may have been too rich for them to choose to hold onto the 26-year-old.

Because Gillislee was given the original-round tender by the Bills, the Patriots will send Buffalo a fifth-round pick as compensation. That gives Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio six picks in this weekend's draft: two thirds, a fourth, a fifth, a sixth and a seventh.

Gillislee joins Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis, James White, Brandon Bolden and DJ Foster on the running back depth chart in New England.